Sunday, December 09, 2007

Why Technology? Why YouTube?

I am always delighted when I find YouTube creations that I believe are a mix of great music, images, and eloquently express the view point of their creators. Why debate the use of technology in education with anyone? Just send this video, Why We Need To Teach Technology In School, and ask them to watch the images, read the text, listen to some good music and who knows, maybe they will change their mind. Very much enjoyed this creation by anderscj (Carl Anderson) and while looking around at some of the other videos posted on YouTube by anderscj found some tutorials:

-Finding a Place to Build in Active Worlds
-Virtual World WebQuest Tour
-Waterless Lithography

They are all worth a look.The author of these good works appears to be a student of both art and technology.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

8th Annual MERLOT International Conference (MIC08)

The Call for Proposals for the MIC08 is open through February 15, 2008. Never been to a MERLOT Conference? Consider submitting a proposal and attending the conference hosted by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The MERLOT Conference Committee invites you to attend the eighth Annual MERLOT International Conference (MIC08) to be held in Minneapolis, MN (August 7-10, 2008).

This year's conference theme is, MERLOT: Still Blazing the Trail and Meeting New Challenges in the Digital Age. The MERLOT International Conference is designed to foster learning, innovation and practice in the use of information, instruction, and communications technologies in higher education. It is the venue for educators, administrators, and technologists who have interests and expertise in technology-enabled teaching and learning and who recognize the need to remain current in this rapidly advancing field of educational practice and theory.

Keynote speakers scheduled for the MIC08 are:

Dr. Darcy Walsh Hardy, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Director of UT-Telecampus, is a "distinguished distance learning trailblazer" and editor of Dancing on the Glass Ceiling: Women,Leadership, and Technology.

Dr. Robbie Kendall-Melton , Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Education Technology and the Tennessee Board of Regents' Executive Director at the Renaissance Center (TBR), is an author, presenter at national and international conferences, directs staff and faculty training, and has taught various seminars and courses in the area of "Effective Teaching and Enhanced Learning Employing Technology".

Dr. Bernie Dodge, is WebQuest creator and Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University where he teaches courses in technology integration. Dodge received a MERLOT Teacher Education Classics award at the MIC07 for creating "Quest Garden, a low-threshold application for and hosting WebQuests". Dodge's Quest Garden provides a template that allows users to publish their materials as a finished WebQuest.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Liz Straus on Blogging Mojo and getting the Kudzu Out

Not sure that I ever had Mojo, in fact the only Jo I have is my middle name, but I do know what kudzu is. Kudzu can be found all over the south. A fast growing imported vine, it grows eerily overmuch of the landscape in southern states. Kudzu is aggressive and hard to control. It chokes out trees and other plant vegetation. Thanks to Liz Straus and her post on both Mojo and Kudzu, I found the motivation to blog after about a month’s absence. Kudzu can be found in Mississippi (and other places in the deep south) and that is where my mind and I were in October and November. My mother-in-law was seriously ill for awhile, recently died, and was buried on the 15th of November in McCool, Mississippi. So while late September,October, and November found my thoughts elsewhere, November is my blog’s birthday and I have some reflecting and related postings to write up as 2007 wraps up.

Liz says there are 10 ways to kill Blog Kudzu they are:

1. Step back from your blog and the blogoshere and remember it does not need you to survive.
2. Find security in the knowledge that your blog and its links will be there when you return.
3. Figure out someway to have an experience then blog it!
4. Get up and go somewhere.
5. Talk to friends.
6. Read, think, and make up stories to tell yourself.
7. Tell people you are a web publisher. Listen to their stories and think about how you might translate them.
8. Get advice from young children and follow it when you can.
9. Spend some time with you and enjoy your own company.
10. Read your blog archives and pick your favorites. Try to do it again.

The 11th piece of advice from a friend of hers, says to allow yourself to take some time off because you will work better when you return. Mojo has several definitions, I choose to use the one that connects it to magic. The photo of Kudzu was found on Wikipedia.

Thanks Liz!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Explaining the Differences Between Wikis and Blogs

Clever, clever stuff here for anyone interested in using blogs and wikis in education. Well done, fun to read, and creative site to explain the difference between the two mediums. If you are looking for some good things to use in the classroom go to and get some! Kudos to Greg, Alan, and Rob on the parody of the Kennedy (wiki) versus Nixon (blog) debate.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Door Opening and Did You Know 2.0

You Tube has allowed me meet my goal of at least three posts a month, but am still not finding time to do much reflective writing. As a member of the "sandwich generation" the past two months have been filled with the pressures of work, family, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Be an opener of Doors" and so far my project has acted as a door opener for me into new knowledge as I explore this social medium.

Quick posts using YouTube and sharing video clips allow me to stay connected with the work of this blog. The YouTube video Did you Know 2.0 and Shift Happens wiki spaces will provide me with rich food for thought as I wrap up the action research part of this blog over the next few months. The Shift Happens wiki spaces invites people to participate in the conversation centered on preparing children for the 21st Century. Great video, wiki, conversations, and a wealth of door opening blogs by Education Bloggers (both women and men) are waiting there.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wikis in Plain English

Found this fun little tutorial about wikis on the USDLA 's What's New . Uses simple drawings, voice, and a "hand" to explain what wikis are and how to use them, by Lee LeFever, Common Craft.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Oh my, sure do wish I could attend this conference. Love the title of the I Invent the Future: The Grace Hopper of Celebration of Women in Computing in 2007. For others with the time and dollars to attend, the conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, October 17-20, 2007. This conference is "designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront."

Connected to the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI), which is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. ABI Partners: Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Google, IBM, Intel, Cisco and Juniper Networks-- this conference appears to be a great one that would allow its attendees to network with leaders and innovators from all over.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Women: Overlooked and Not Missing

Started looking and reading late this evening, but I found a good blog post written by a woman on technology and that led me to another, which leads me to another, and so on and so on. So found several new websites and blogs today devoted to women in technology worth writing about.

Willow Cook of the TechSoup Blog wrote, that women aren't missing from the ranks "technology sector" they are just overlooked. Willow's blog post led me to Tara Hunt's ,Women Who Risk: Making Women in Technology Visible.

Hunt believes "that part of the answer to the question "Why aren't women in technology?" lies in our mistaking the answer to the former question, "Where are the women?" She then goes on to provide an impressive list of women in technology, their blogs names, and the companies they work at or founded.

Women exist in good numbers, so why Hunt asks, can't we be found? Some of her reasons include the following:

-Women choose family first
- Women are cloaked in invisibility ( she provides a personal example of this)
-Masculine measures of success don't fit most women's career paths

So here I am in 10+ months into my action research project, making the invisible, visible by starting a project connected to seeking and finding women in technology. Will continue to work on this as I wrap up between now and the end of the year, but more about that later.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Have You Seen Education Today and Tommorow?

Fun music to listen to, effective images, and illustrates how education and students have changed.Information about this video from YouTube: Created by Tom Woodward of Henrico County schools in Virginia. Tom used the work of Karl Fisch from Colorado who created a PPT using various quotes and statistics from "flat world" thinking.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Reviewing Goals, eMentoring, and The National Center for Women and Information Technology

My blogging anniversary is looming and I am feeling a bit harried. As I review the the goals I set for myself over the course of the year am now wondering if I will be able to work through all of them over the next few months. One of my goals was to post at least three times a month and while most months I do, September will be iffy.

Find myself wishing I could read, write, and reflect a little bit more than I do, but often feel the need to work fast. So in this hurried reflective post on my goals, I see I have explored a few women’s issues related to higher education, leadership, and education technology Also, found over a 100+ women bloggers and most of these were in the first three months of blogging.

In this quick review of my blog I see posts connected to leadership issues and reflection on posts as scant. So I went out looking for organizations that focus on issues of effectively address issues of gender and technology and found The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). This organization's stated mission is "to ensure that women's knowledge and skills are fully represented in the creation, development, and consumption of information technology".

NCWIT has an eMentoring project that is worth reading about. Its focus on same-sex mentoring offers young women interested in information technology opportunities to connect with like minded professionals without geographic constraints. Mentors interact with mentees via email and use online materials, communication, and coaching. The research collected in this project is promising. Wish there was something similar for middle-aged women.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

MERLOT (MIC07) Keynote Day 3

The MERLOT Conferences and the ideas presented at them always provide me with plenty to reflect on once I get back home and to work. The MIC07 provided an interesting and eclectic mix of presenter and topics. Typically, MERLOT has three keynotes at a conference. One is future focused, a second is discipline focused, and the third usually has an applied focused.

The third keynote on the last day of the conference was very future focused. One of the most ambitious and “bleeding edge” presentations at this conference was given by Barbara “Bee” Dieu. A self-professed Webhead, blogger, wiki-maker,Second Lifer, and reader of Kerouac, if she appeared on the old What’s My Line TV Game Show the panel probably would not see this mature, soft-spoken, teaching professional as an experienced and relaxed inhabitant of cyberworlds and user of Web 2.0 .

Bee's presentation was broad in scope and had so much Web 2.0 stuff in it that it may have been too much to digest in such a short time frame. The MERLOT community is made up of technology saavy folks, but many of them watched, listened, and left this presentation a little woozy from ideas and technologies Bee demonstrated. Wikis, Second Life, Blogs, Webathons, ZOHO, Twitter, Flikr, and the like are not in the tool box of most educators right now. Just a quick look at the vocabulary from her wiki would send all but the most "bleeding edge" technology pioneers running for the online dictionary, google, kartoo, or wikipedia.

While Bee's presentation might have been a little "out there" for some in the audience, her bold demonstration and use of technology, social networking, Web 2.0 tools, and cyberworlds is a bit of a wake up call. Her presentation points to new ways in which the web and technology can be used in education. It was satisfying to listen to a woman present on new tools, worlds, and ideas on how to use and share technologies. Bee has friends around the world and presents on her work often. She is a woman technology leader and user to watch.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

MERLOT (MIC07) Day 2 Keynote: Teaching Blue

The description of this keynote presentation by David Megill and his twin brother[ Ultimate Multimedia Object(UMLO)] did not do this witty, fun, and educational presentation justice. Through great story-telling, a recorder performance, and by engaging the audience's imagination, the Megill's illustrated some of the inherent difficulties [and rewards] in teaching music. This presentation, althought created in Keynote, followed all the rules outlined in Atkinson's, Beyond Bullet points : Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations that Inform, Motivate and Inspire . The presenter's discussion of grading students, assessing student learning, talent and aptitude could be likened to the some of the discussion surrounding quality in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. By the way for those MIC07 attendees that heard the announcement about the MIC08 being held in Minnesota--Pirsig was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

MERLOT(MIC07) Day 1 Keynote Address

Dr. Bruce Chaloux, Director of Southern Regional Education Board's (SREB) Electronic Campus, posed some challenging questions in a keynote address titled,The Coming of Age of Online Learning--Now what? Based on SREB's (and Chaloux's) experience with Katrina students and other online students in SREB states, everyone in higher education should be gearing up and planning how to answer questions related to this keynote that addressed issues of "readiness". Specifically, is higher education ready for:

1. The next group of 6 year olds moving through K-12?
2. The new group of faculty entering higher education?
3. For the "in and out" employee, student, etc?
4. Students who desire flexibility and education that fits in to their schedules? i.e., not the ones we (higher ed) create?

Conversations and research surrounding how to confront the challenges of teaching and learning in the 21st century abound. One thought provoking occasional paper by Jenkins (2006) titled, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, is worth a read and printing out to share with others. In this exploration of "new frameworks" for student and teacher relationships current faculty may gain a better understand of how "digital technologies are changing the way young people, learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life". Other resources that can assist exploration of the issues presented in Chaloux's keynote include Georgetown's Children's Digital Media Center chock-full of research on early childhood computer research.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

aephoneia and Danah Boyd's Research and Writing

Wow. Just got through reading Danah Boyd’s powerful response to all the posts and hype that her essay, Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace, received since June 24, 2007. aephoneia, was one of the first high quality and “bleeding edge” blogs I came across when I started my research. Wikipedia uses the verb risky to define bleeding edge, a term usually associated with new technology. Boyd's research centers on new technologies and how teens communicate on social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, and others. The topics she blogs on and researchs are new. No one understands or has a handle on it all yet, but Boyd is savvy. Her research, knowledge of teen social networks is out on the web and viewable by all. Her presentations and writings have been featured in NPR, Wired, MSNBC, USA Today, Newsweek , and The O'Reilly Factor. She has been profiled in The New York Times and in Financial Times .

Since her June 24, 2007 essay Boyd has been bombarded with what she calls "critiques". In a July 25, 2007 post, Responses to: "Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace" she takes criticisms received and responds to them all in an even toned, scholarly manner
even the ugly ones. Boyd’s response paper outlined how she works and writes, defined methodology terms, vocabulary used in her research, and she did not hedge when describing the ugliness of what some critics wrote, or how she felt what they wrote. Ouch, hard to read, but so well written and so eloquent I read to the end. It appears that she plans to keep blogging.

Awhile back another woman with high visibility in the blogoshpere, Kathy Sierra, posted on harassment and death threats that she was received online and quit blogging. Ellen Nakishima’s, (April, 2007) provocative article, on the darker side of women bloggers who"gain visibility in the blogosphere" detailed some of the ugliness of in the cyberworld and the sexual threats used to stifle some bloggers. It is worth going back to and reading. Other good articles related to Sierra's experience and cyberbullying are, PBS Teachers: Participate in Stop Cyberbullying Day and Is it time to crack down on the blogsphere?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kartoo a meta search engine that maps

Kartoo is worth the time you will spend looking at results presented in a highly visual format. Still can't say that I understand all the ins and outs of using it, but love seeing results presented in maps. This was also fun to chart. Looking at the chart it appears (again)I am a little behind the buzz in learning about what Kartoo is and what it does.

Posts that contain Kartoo per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

My searches, using key words brought me by a genie look alike, were mapped by relevance and larger sized items indicated importance. Using keyword search, women bloggers, Kartoo brought me 16,000,000 results in pages of visual maps that went on and on.

Another key word search using, women bloggers research, provided me 8, 5100, 000 results with the most relevant items sized accordingly. Found MotherPie again on the first page of this Kartoo search. It is fun to search this way and as my mouse moved over the mapped images linking lines connected to other images and information on images was presented in text on the left navigation.

If you are interested in seeing search results presented in something other than a long list of items, check out Kartoo. Oh, and once again it appears that when you are actively looking for information the "truth is out there". Women are blogging and their numbers are growing.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wanted to track the Fusion D2L Conference on technorati to see who is blogging, how many are blogging on this conference, and what they are blogging about. I am fond of this charting tool and find it interesting to watch the "buzz" on topics and sessions in in real time. The chart below illustrates Posts that contain Fusion D2L Conference per day for the last 7 days. Will update this as the conference and post-conference workshops go on this week.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Social Media Wiki

Social Media Wiki created by Social Communications group of Campbell-Ewald has an awesome graphic mapping online communities, I could not resist posting here today. Along with this visual you can find information on Web 2.0, avatars, blogs, Weblins, widgets, gaming and metaverses, and definitions. Did you know wiki is Hawaiian for fast? The Social Media Wiki was created in Wetpaint and there is an open invitation for folks to join in the conversation. Mosey through this site when you have some time. Although wiki is Hawaiian for fast, the information on this wiki may make you linger and spend more time than you intended. Lots of good reading and web sites to visit are located on this wiki.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Double-Entry Blog Postings

The double entry journal, first suggested by Berthoff (1981) in the Making of Meaning is outlined in Journaling-Navigating Possible Futures by Creating Maps of Undiscovered Territory by Rex Veeder. Veeder’s (Spring 2007) narrative on how using this method in journaling can foster habits of rethinking and reflecting on one's own writing is outlined along with tips on how he uses "double-entry" to frame his journaling.

Although, Veeder’s focus is on traditional journaling if the word journal is replaced with blog his tips provide a sound method for reflection on this blog's postings. I learned of Veeder's journal article (Spring 2007 issue of Leadership: Journal for Post-Secondary Leaders) in June as I finished up my Luoma Leadership Academy work. The article focused on the idea on using journaling as practice to "move from abstract speculation and commentary to the realm of action" can be applied to blogging. I am at mid-point in my self-assigned action project and reading the article was timely. Future blog posts will include going back into early posting and using the double-entry method.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

MERLOT International Conference 2007 (MIC 07)

If you have not heard about MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching), please have a look at this site devoted to sharing digital resources nationally and

Check out the buzz and consider attending the MERLOT 2007 conference August 7-10 in New Orleans, LA. It will be hot in New Orleans in August, but the MERLOT Conference is way cool.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

3rd International Forum for Women in E-Learning (IFWE, 2007)

USDLA's International Forum for Women in E-Learning has a call for proposals and a conference announcement out. If you or another woman you know in E-Learning is looking for a conference that allows "attendees, at all stages of their careers, to discuss ideas with experienced women leaders in distance learning", Santa Fe, New Mexico is the place to be November 28-30, 2007.

The call for proposals is open until August 15, 2007. The IFWE Conference is looking for proposals focuses on:

  • workplace policies and practices,
  • improving the female voice in the workplace,
  • diversity and mentoring,
  • innovative e-learning strategies,
  • the future of e-learning in the workplace,
  • mentor/mentee relationships,
  • becoming change agents,
  • finding female balance,
  • wellness, motivation and stress relief

Here's to establishing this conference as an ongoing addition to the nation's conference calendar.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Communication and Gender

Recently, I found an online resource written by a woman for women on leadership issues. The website, by Connie Glasser provides some good tips to guide women as they work in--or work toward--leadership roles. I bookmarked the resource and plan to go back and to read more, but wanted to share one of her articles, Plan Your Words, Take Credit for Ideas . This article hit me as a particularly effective method to use to prepare for meetings where ideas can be presented.

Glasser advises women that it is important to view each meeting as an opportunity to make a contribution and to gain some recognition. Some of her tips on how to do this are:
1.Don't fly-by-the seat of your pants -- go to the meetings with ideas that are connected to the agenda.
2.Talk about your ideas with key people who will attend the meeting prior to the meeting to get a sense of how they view or support your ideas.
3.Take credit for the ideas you present by preparing a document that include your ideas and your name.
4.Make copies for everyone who will attend and the present your ideas--if your ideas generate some discussion and go over well--pass out the documents you prepared. If not, don't.
5.Plan ahead for conflict and be prepared for it in meetings by familiarizing yourself with issues connected to opposing viewpoints--do your homework.
6.Be sure to speak with assurance and don't be overly concerned with appearing aggressive.

Have you ever presented and idea at a meeting and had it reappear at another meeting and it suddenly belonged to someone else? If so, Glasser's tips might keep this from happening at future meetings.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Web Conferencing Software: Why I Like WebEx

Over the course of last 18 or so months I have spent some time learning how to use web conferencing technologies. Have experienced BREEZE, elluminate, Microsoft Office Meeting, and WebEx. Just wish I had known about the research that Network Computing: For IT By IT, provided for users and those thinking about using web conferencing technology in April 2006.
The research review titled, Tech U: The World is Our Campus provides an overview of detailed overview of nine products and information on which two web conferencing technologies were selected for an Editor's Award. Details 40 products were weeded down to 14 for review are provided. The information on this review would be extremely helpful to colleges and businesses looking for resources to help guide local t decisions on which web conferencing technology they might want to use. It also provides report cards and information on products that received grades of A, B or C in an interactive report card .

In the review and testing process three common applications used by most people in education or business were used in the web conferencing product demonstrations. Powerpoint files, Word documents and Excel spreadsheets were tested for " ease and speed of loading these files into the application" and how well the content displayed. They also tested working in real-time on a blank PowerPoint, how easy it was to record a session and the quality of playback for voice, video and stability (Cogburn & Kurup, 2006). This review is well worth a look and provides a process for people to use to make decisions about these technologies that are similar to process that has been used to make decisions about Instructional Management Systems.

Oh, here is my list of reasons why I like WebEx:

1. Simple process to set up meetings.

2. Easy to edit and make corrections to meetings as you set them up.

3. Deceptively simple interface that allows you to learn how to:

-share applications, desktop, whiteboard, and a host of meeting tools

4. Nice meeting lay-out that is easy to move around in and I don't get lost when I host a meeting.

5. Real time training opportunities, good tutorials, and self-help documents.

6. We have an in-house super-user that helps me troubleshoot.

7. I have become familiar with it and have "meeting confidence" when I host.

8. Easy to allow others to present.

9. I have my own personal meeting room.

10. Received an Editor's Award for use in this study validating my good taste and good experiences using this web conferencing tool.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Working With Groups at a Distance

In online classrooms and in the world of work individuals can be assigned to projects where they will be working with others at a distance. New Internet technologies are providing people with new methods of working together and some of the tools, along with the pros and cons of working on collaborative projects at a distance are outlined in an online article titled, Working Together at a Distance. The article lists some ways that groups can communicate effectively with each other at a distance:

*Working with people you already know and have a relationship with can help.
*Making assumptions about others while working with groups at a distance can make things go "downhill".
*Everyone should get together at least once as teams "that meet face-to-face are more successful".
*Meeting early in the project helps teams to bond.
*Teams working at a distance are often working separately and should plan to connect at key points in the project.
*Daily checks at the group project site and phone calls are helpful to projects.
*Jumping to conclusions can unravel trust.
*Project sites that act as a repository for documents can assist groups at a distance.

I believe the two statements (Leveton,2007) are especially important for groups working at a distance:

1. "Though e-mails and other written messages are useful tools, Kwo has found that they're often misinterpreted".
2. The importance of being a "grown up" and giving " people the benefit of the doubt".

With today's information technologies opening up all sorts of new ways for people to connect at a distance it becomes increasingly important for groups working at distance to plan ahead. Are you interested in leadership? Working or taking online courses in the 21st century? Reading the Leveton (2007) article along with adopting team behaviors to improve communications should be first on the list of any group planning to complete a project at a distance.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

More Research on Women Bloggers

Meandering my way around the blogoshpere again and looking for more research on women bloggers. Found a rich source of research this evening on a blog titled MotherPie. The author of this blog is posting a "female-centric study" and was recently awarded a Masters of Arts degree in Media Studies.

While I did not respond to the study and my blog is not a Mommy Blog I fit in with the majority of the respondents (a parent, female with children)and still recently graduated (Ph.D. in Education Technology 2005) enough to recognize and appreciate the hard work that getting a degree entails. Mother Pie's research on Female Blogging: Issues of Identity, Relations and Play is being parsed out on the blog in excerpts. I plan to keep reading excerpts until the study is posted in its entirety.

As a scholar practitioner, I am always grateful to those who research, write, and make their studies freely available on the web. Plan to read, learn, and think about how I will frame my year's journey in research and reflection some months from now. Was looking around for polling widgets, found polldaddy, went on to look for information on surveys of women bloggers, read some stuff that didn't really interest me and then MotherPie. At some point will embed a poll into this blog, but first will need to think, reflect and post. I am at midpoint in this journey the end of this month.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Women In Art

Gorgeous paintings of women set to classical music.

Women In Art: Learning how to post a video to my blog

This is harder than it looks and was only able to get the video to work on the second try. If you enjoyed this video you may want to see other art videos by a director named eggman913.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

eLect Collaborative and Quality Matters

Spent a great day with some Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) women faculty who regularly collaborate, talk shop, work hard, and focus on quality of online learning. The E-LECT Collaborative(E-Learning for Early Childhood Teachers) is unique in Minnesota in that it offers lower division college credit courses on-line through ten MnSCU community and technical colleges. Students benefit from the options, flexibility and access this program provides and earn credits toward a certificate, diploma, A.A.S. degree, C.D.A. renewal, or professional development.

The faculty in this program are continuing on their quest for quality. In 2005 the group received a Quality Matters (QM) Grant and 5 of them were trained as peer reviewers and reviewed each others courses. Spring 2006 found them at a Lake Superior College QM conference sponsored by Minnesota Online, and spring 2007 found them back together sharing courses, the QM review process, and Susan Bradshaw's QM Blog with other ELECT faculty. Am pleased and proud to have supported the work of ELECT Faculty Leaders (Stacey York, Carla Weigel, and Sara M. Hoffman) on QM projects over the past two years. I admire their online teaching expertise, willingness to work, and no-fear attitude in adopting a rubric to improve course quality for students.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

eLearning Games and Simulations

Attended the eLearning Games and Simulations Conference at Normandale Community College and was pleased to see a mixed audience of higher education, and postsecondary faculty and others in attendance. The conference had some 200+ registrants for this one day event and a well received mix of sessions on gaming and simulations on virtual worlds and opportunities to learn how to connect students with interactive technologies. Am pleased to report that I was one of many women in attendance at this conference.

While current research reports that women game less than men, some groups are doing what they can to grow female gamers. Found some information on the web about sholarships that WomenGamers.Com (valued at $945) were offering two female students ages 8-18 for one week at the National Computer Camp ( . The camp experience has already been snapped up by two essayists who submitted an application and and essay by the May 18th deadling deadline. Applicants were asked to respond to the following question:

"What will video games of the future be like and if you were in charge of designing a game, what would it be like?"

The essays from the young women who responded to the scholarship challenge are fun to read and provide some real insight into what they think about games and the kinds of games they would create and play.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sifry: The State of the Blogosphere

Just found an excellent resource information on the state of the blogosphere. Sifry's State of the Live Web has data from October 2004 through April 2007. Lots of visuals for are provided and are freely available for use under a Creative Commons license. Users are asked to keep Technorati logos and links when charts and data are shared. Sifry's most up-to-date portrayal on growth of weblogs is as follows:

  • 70 million weblogs
  • About 120,000 new weblogs each day, or...
  • 1.4 new blogs every second
  • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day
  • Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or...
  • 17 posts per second
  • Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
  • 22 blogs among the top 100 blogs among the top 100 sources linked to in Q4 2006 - up from 12 in the prior quarter
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%
  • English second at 33%
  • Chinese third at 8%
  • Italian fourth at 3%
  • Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock
  • Tracking 230 million posts with tags or categories
  • 35% of all February 2007 posts used tags
  • 2.5 million blogs posted at least one tagged post in February
I started this blog because I wondered, Where were the women bloggers?", but now as I learn more about social networking and blogging I wonder, where was I when people started blogging? While my adult children were telling me about MySpace and Facebook I was dismissing what they told me because when I did look at these social networking sites I saw much of it as juvenile, bawdy, and in poor taste. The sites did not hold my interest. What I did not know until I began to research women bloggers and blogging sites in general was just how informative and learning focused well-done blogs could be. While there is the not-so-good and seamy content, there is a wealth of well-done, well written, and education friendly writing going on about the topics I am interested in.

Who knew? Well it appears that since 2004 through 2006, a whole lot of people blogging knew.

Thursday, May 17, 2007; Global Webcastathon

Just received an email invitation to this happening. It's free, easy to register, great venue, and looks like it will be fun as well as educational. I registered to attend and will take in as much as I can when I can at the WIAOC 2007 WORLDBRIDGES WEBCASTATHON - MAY 17-MAY 20. The information below is copy/paste from my invitation.

Posts that contain Webcastathon per day for the last 30 days.
Technorati Chart
Get your own chart!

"Begins at 2200 GMT and wraps up at EdTechTalk 75 hours later.In between, there are 47 planned sessions, including keynote presentations by Stephen Downes, George Siemens, Etienne Wenger, Robin Good, Barbara Ganley, Teemu Leinonen, & Leigh Blackall. This is also likely to be an unprecedented unconferency very global gathering of educators and technologists who like to play with collaborative social media tools ... shouldbe fun. So, stop by when you can to check out some sessions and/or hang out in the virtual hallways. You can tune in from any Worldbridges site, but the real action will be at [].
A presentation schedule is at:
[]We will also try to bridge to a teleconference when possible. 1-712-451-6100, Access Code: 999374#"

The conference hasn't started yet, but there are lots of places to poke around, things to read, links to resources, and tutorials. This looks like a winning combination of people, places, and things!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Using Notebook PCs to Breathe Life into Presentations

Just finished a quick, two-page read in a Campus Technology article titled Beyond PowerPoint: Building a New Classroom Presenter. Provides an overview of how presentation techniques impact faculty teaching, from blackboard and chalk to electronic presentation software like today's Powerpoint. The article goes on to discuss how use of slide presentations have "sucked the life" out of lectures and emphasizes the importance of adjusting presentation materials to audience reactions and allowing for on-the-fly additions to materials during the presentation.

Details on how use of a tablet PC allows lecturer to add personalized notes and use of product called Classroom Presenter that can be used in real time and in online courses is provided. Includes information on how Classroom Presenter can be used with One Note and how it supports student interactions and additions to notetaking process in the classroom. Just got an IBM tablet PC through work, albeit without a pen [still trying to figure that out!].Once I get a pen plant to integrate use of the table feature and One Note into my work.

Also found an online resource that encourages people to Just Say No to Microsoft with some good information on presentation software such as Keynote (for Macs) and Astound which I used in the mid 90s and loved, but forgot about once Microsoft Office Suite was adopted in my workplace. This site and the information it contains is worth a visit. Not suggesting we all mutiny and quit using Microsoft, but am suggesting that there may be other presentation products out there that are worth a look-see. Keynote creates very sophisticated and beautiful presentations.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stifling Women Bloggers

This posting is connected to my dismay over reading about the harassment that women face in the blogosphere. My intent was to write and post my thoughts and opinions on technology, higher education, and leadership, but increasingly I find this project like going through the "looking glass" and my thoughts and opinions shifting as I learn more. It appears the blogosphere is mirroring many of the same iniquities, prejudices found in the real world and Internet harassment includes death threats for successful women bloggers like Kathy Sierra.

Ellen Nakishima’s, article is filled with scary eloquence on the seamier and darker side of what can happen to some women bloggers as they "gain visibility in the blogosphere" (April, 2007). The Washington Post article, Sexual Threats Stifle Women Bloggers, is full of information guaranteed to promote use of pseudonyms for women and they may"censor themselves" or use "private forums and closed comments" while blogging. Nakishima and the people she interviewed believe this will "make women reluctant to join in online -- undercutting the promise of the Internet as an egalitarian forum". Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post) a blogger who gets a lot of press and traffic of said, "anonymity online has allowed "many those dark prejudices towards women to surface."

So, in the blogosphere people are writing about the lack of women bloggers and the harassment of women bloggers. Here is another medium built for and by all that appears to be serving some more than others and allowing some to frighten and silence women in a brand-new way. I probably should not be at all surprised there is carry over of these kinds of issues from one medium to another, but I am.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

HLC motto: Serving the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher learning

The 112th Annual Meeting of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), is in full-throttle this Sunday, April 22, 2007 and I attended two conference sessions this morning illustrating the HLC organizational motto of, "serving the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher learning". The first session, Using Student Ratings to Improve Program Quality and Student Learning, included a panel presentation and overview of Kansas State University's The IDEA Center and first hand accounts of how use of The IDEA Centers "learning -centered" surveys support an institution's ability to demonstrate an "understanding of teaching and learning and improve the use and interpretation of information" to provide statistical evidence of meeting AQIP's Category One: Helping Students Learn in systems portfolios.

The second session's panel, What Remedial Freshman Can Teach University Administrators, focused on issues of remedial students in higher education and how their issues were connected to administrative issues at their university. This panel presented in an engaging, humorous, and story-telling manner and at the same time pointed out the serious problems underprepared students have when they enter higher education.While I found value in each presentation panel it was this one that fired me up.

Higher education knows underprepared students are a serious and growing problem. Long's (2005), The Remediation Debate: Are We Serving the Needs of Underprepared College Students, reported that "only one-third of students leave high school prepared for college" and while national research suggests that students provided remediation "have better outcomes than students with comparable backgrounds and preparation who do not take remedial courses" (Long, 2005)", national debates rather than action are still common place.

As the debates about cost, appropriateness of course work below college level, and squables over who, when, and how students might be served take place, 2001 saw the California State University system kicking out over" 2,200 students-nearly seven percent of the freshman class-for failing to master basic English and math skills " (Trouson, 2001).

Underprepared students (Bettinger& Long, 2006)are a growing concern for all of higher education and and might be alleviated by collaborative curriculum endeavors. There are content experts trying to address this need. One example is Minnesota's Mindquest Academy a series of online Adult Basic Education modules created by grant dollars and successfully used to get many Minnesota underprepared students prepared.

Because remedial course work is resource intensive; money, people, and vetted curriculum to effectively move underprepred students content is needed. Online digital content projects that were funded to create these kind of resources for the underprepared should be culled and harvested. I am sure that there are other successful curricula and courses out there to tackle this problem one place to look for them might be Curriki.

Curriki might provide an opportunity for good minds and good content to be massaged, manipulated, and shared to move students through content designed to get to the courses that "count" in a degree plan. According Curriki , "Anyone with access to the Internet can contribute and use the material found on Curriki to teach themselves or others. Whether its algebra, reading, or physics, they will be able to access the curricula online, print it, and/or save it to a CD".

According to Dr. Barbara"Bobbi" Kurshan, when fully operation Curriki will provide easy-to-use tools and a place to create shared curriculum from content developed by world wide contrubutors. Curriki is unique in that its focus will be on complete curricula solutions and not just textbooks and lessons plans(Wikipedia, 2007). The collaborative work that will take place in Curriki will use technology to provide users worldwide access to quality digital content. Founded by Sun System Curriki is an Open Source curricula .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Arts, music, language and information literacy resources

Have you heard about Karen Ellis and the Educational Cyber Playground? Well, neither had I until just a few days ago. Developed to improve literacy through arts education the site provides numerous web base resources to promote art, music, language, and information literacy. Educational Cyber Playground received a lot of media attention and awards during the late 90s and early 00s and provides a lot of free instructional content and information about online resources to educators, parents, and web surfers.

According to the information on the site, Ellis has been online since 1991 and her site has been used and visited by people all over the world. While the site looks like it could use some updating and has broken links there are many good resources to support educators and home schoolers. Why am I blogging about this? Well, the point of this blog is to find, write about, and link to women who are leaders in education technology.

Karen Ellis' site indicated that she is one. A self proclaimed "webmistress, site architect, curriculum content developer and RingLeader for the Educational CyberPlayGround" she has helped "over 2 million people a year" through her website. She has collected several "Hot Site" awards, USA today, MSNBC, The New York Times Learning Network on the Web: Parent Connections, and several Grammys . More recently, she created the National Children's Repository of Folksongs in 2003.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Women's Voices on Learning Objects and Learning Objects Repositories

In my first search of women blogs connected to learning objects and learning objects repositories found an article by Diane J. Goldsmith on Assessing Learning Objects: The Importance of Values, Purpose, and Design. It was unusual to read a woman blogging on learning objects and issues surrounding their use in education and I hope to find more over the next year. Besides citing some of the energetic male discussions surrounding the use of standards to create learning objects (Downes, 2006:Norman, 2006:Wiley, 2006), Goldsmith (2007) proposed there is opportunity in integrating assessment principles into developing learning objects.

While the discussion surrounding learning objects is focused on definitions, standards, context for use and reuse Goldsmiths’ (2007) article discusses learning objects and connects them to faculty values, purpose of LOs that is connected to what the objects might assess. She poses a set of questions to frame developing LOs and ask faculty and development teams to consider:

1. Why should a particular learning object be developed?
2.Who are the stakeholders? Users?
3. How will one know if the learning object is successful?
4. What determines success?
5. How can the cost of developing a learning object be justified?
6.What is the intended purpose in developing the learning object?
7. How can assessment of the learning object be factored into the development process?
8. If the object is published to a learning objects repository (LOR) how will data be collected on its use, reuse, and outcomes be assessed?

Finally, Goldsmith (2007) asks faculty and developers to consider what they will do with the data they collect and how any need for improvements will be communicated. This article also provides a list of assessment models for learning objects that included,
MERLOT, the University of Wisconsin, Connecticut Learning Consortium, Center of Academic Transformation, AliveTek, and Wesleyan University's LOLA project.

This article is a good one for people looking for information that goes beyond the debates about defining what a learning object is or is not and whether or not the whole notion of learning objects is dead. I favor two simple definitions for the term learning object, the first is the Southern Regional Educational Board's (SREB, 2005) definition of learning object (LO), "a LO is any digital resource that can be used and reused to support learning". The second is New Media Consortium's (Smith, 2004) definition that connects LOs to materials grouped in structured, meaningful content contributions that are tied to measurable education objectives.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering... I believe that the promise of learning objects to improve teaching and learning is still very much alive.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Bebo in the News: Safer Social Networking

While reading Danah Boyd I found a great research site about youth and their learning and experiments with digital media. Boyd and others at Berkley are contributors to this current and readable website. This site on "ethonographic investigation of innovative knowledge cultures" titled, Digital Youth Research: Kids Informal Learning with Digital Media is impressive.

Dipped into several articles, but the one that engaged me and kept me there for awhile was on Bebo and information about the safety that this social networking provides for its users and parents of users. Bebo has a BlogSafety Forum that provides educational information on safe blogging and social networking. Bebo states that this safety blog is about " social networking about the social networks" (Bebo, 2007).

I read a lot about Facebook and MySpace, but had never heard of Bebo a social networking site ranked third most popular and the most sticky site in the in the world(Stoller, 2005). Also voted Peoples Voice by Webby and Best Social Networking site of 2006, Bebo recently appointed Joanna Shields Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships for Google EMEA, as President in its new London office.

Shields' 20-year work history includes senior management positions in several leading technology and internet companies. In her previous position at Google, she built syndication networks around the world and was instumental in developing partnerships with "some of the world's largest media and telecompanies (Gavin, 2007).

Am always pleased to learn new things when blogging and through my research this week found out about the world's third largest social networking system and Shields, a woman making the news as leader in the field of technology.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Steven Levy(2006) asked, Does the blogosphere have a diversity problem? and then goes on to talk about Halley Suitt positing on same. The problem is the Halley's Comment blog is by invitation only and can't be read unless one is "invited". Not sure how to get invited, but will keep looking as it appears that Suitt may be a good read.

Can what Levy called a "grass-roots phenomenon" of self-publishing in the blogosphere be exclusive rather inclusive? Levy quotes Suitt as asking "people to each find 10 bloggers who weren't male, white or English-speaking—and link to them. "Don't you think," she says, "that out of 8 million blogs, there could be 50 new voices worth hearing?"

I certainly believe that there are many worthwhile voices out there and would love to hear them, but can't read Suitt's by invitation only blog. Would very much like to read a blog by a woman who writes on the "clubbiness" of blogs and of white people writing to white people. Will instead try to track some of her ideas down through open articles and conversations going on by others on the same topic.

Just learned something new through persistence (kept trying to read Halley's blog) and here is a copy & paste of what I found out.

"Halley's Comment: I've stopped blogging here and Halley's Comment is no more. There is a screen which says you need to be a member to read the blog, but there is no list of "members" or select people who can read the blog. That screen is just a standard feature of Blogger which comes up when you close your blog off. I'll be taking the blog down for good soon. Loyal readers, thank you for your loyalty. If I decide to start another blog, I'll post a link here to that new site."

Not sure where she went or if she will blog again, but will keep checking back. All the postings and writings I am finding about Suitt illustrate she is a good read.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Research on blogging and women bloggers

Still wandering all around the web looking for research on women bloggers, women bloggers who blog about education technology, leadership and higher education. I found a directory resource for women bloggers and an article (Taylor Eisenman) citing research on how infrequently popular male bloggers include female bloggers on their blogroll. This article was based on Clancy Ratcliff's dissertation research. Ratcliff's (2005) research focused on a "case study of gender differentials in discourse on weblogs (often called the “blogosphere”). To that end, I am analyzing the “Where are the women?” debates to ascertain the ways both men and women account for the gender gap in blogging"(Ratcliff, 2005).

Some of the reasons outlined for the gap in this study included:
  • women aren't self-promoters
  • women "can't handle agnostic nature of political discourse" of blogs
  • women use pseudonyms more than males
  • women don't blog about politics

    While Clancy's(2005)dissertation research has a focus on rhetoric and politics it does ask the question, "Where are the women" and will provide me with more research based information to answer my questions about women blogging about this blog's areas of focus. I am looking forward to learning more about blogging and the discourse about women who blog over the course of this year and will link this site to Blogs by Women soon.

  • English posts that contain Women Bloggers per day for the last 30 days.
    Technorati Chart
    Get your own chart!

    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Blogs, blog persona, and back to leadership issues

    Went in to check my gmail account today and found an invitation to a EdTechTalk. It was past the date for the talk, but went there anyway to view past and upcoming calendar information on the talks with "educators dedicated to helping those involved in educational technology explore, discusss, and collaborate in its use". Started meandering around and found information about something called a Tumblelog.

    You can create a blog with "less fuss" using a free tool called Tumblr. These blogs are highly visual and less text based than most blogs. The less fuss part is intriguing, but would probably prove to be more fuss for me as I would then need a digital camera (must be one of the few people in the world without one in my cell phone), and would spend a lot of time learning how use it and taking photos for the Tumblelog. To get an idea of what one of these might look like, visit Tumbleo.

    Did some more meandering while thinking about blogs and how some portray the strong personas of their authors and others don't. Went searching for more information about persona and blogging and found another woman blogger, Dr. Helen, who blogged about this and women and leadership. The posting about women and leadership was connected to a MSN article titled, Men rule ---at least in workplace attitudes .

    Food for thought from MSN , “To be a leader you have to be decisive and take charge. That fits fine for men, but when women do it they get labeled.” The jist of the article in a list:

  • men are still seen as more effective leaders than women, by both men and women
  • women don't want to be too confident or authoritative, lest they get called the "B" word
  • women worry about being called wishy-washy, indecisive, or emotional
  • most men would rather have a male supervisor and so would most women
  • in our society leadership is still a code word for masuline

    Oh yeah, and Dr. Helen said, "If You Want to be a Leader--Quit talking about your Freaking Grandkids"!
  • Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Blogging to learn and learning to blog

    My initial reasons for blogging were to learn and read about other women bloggers interested in education technology, higher education and leadership, but while I have doing just that ---am finding a blog may not be just about writing. Sorting through all the tools out there that can help give a blog a personality could require some time. Flickr, Song Spots, YouTube, Wiki, were not sites that I visted or talked about much back in December. Now, in January, February and March women blog readings and daily visits to these sites and others are help me to see that finding, reading about, playing with, and integrating these technologies into my skill set may help me to express myself with more than just words.

    Am enjoying the fee free education that learning how to blog is providing me. March finds me making my my way around a conference wiki, using Flickr to store, upload, and ta-da posting a slide show of a co-presented session at the ODCE conference focused on faculty perceptions of courses created by others. Next thing I plan to learn is how to post so photos, presentations, and videos are embedded in the posting and not just provided through links.

    Saturday, March 03, 2007

    Online Course Peer Review

    Lake Superior College's faculty member Susan Bradshaw is blogging. Was thrilled to find another woman blogger and to visit her blog which is also a great resource on Online Course Peer Review.

    Coincidentally, attended a conference in Ohio (ODCE 2007) where Quality Matters: An Inter-institional Process for Improving Quality Online, presented by Brenda Boyd of Miami Unviersity was recognized for the Best Session Award. She received a plaque and a free registration to the next conference as part of the award.

    While the Quality Matters FIPSE grant ended, the organization still exists and offers institutional subscriptions, training, and a range of fee-based services.

    To find out more about QM, the course review process, and the peer review process vist the QM web: and be sure to check out Susan Bradshaw's blog to get a sense of how Lake Superior College and other faculty in the Minnesota State Colleges University System and Minnesota Online have implemented QM into practice.

    Monday, February 26, 2007

    Success it is not the same as leadership but

    Putting some ideas together for an upcoming presentation as well as reading blogs. Went on a search to look around for presentations tips and found excellent tips,resources, and samples of effective presentations (TED) from Garr Reynold's blog titled PresentationZen.

    Watched a YouTube post of a short video by a gentleman named Richard St. John. The presentation and the information in it was of interest to me for these reasons:

    1. The speaker was good and the visuals were very well done.
    2. The St. Clair presentation has information in it that could provide one with ideas on how to lead as well as how to have success .

    Saturday, February 24, 2007

    At least 3 blog posts per month: One on leadership

    Went on a miniweb search to do my one post for the week on leadership. My search affirmed some of the reasons I believe women may not be recognized as leaders. Despite the recent selection of a woman as Harvard’s president (Women Increasingly Likely To Be Leaders in U.S. Higher Education) and the statistics from the BizDean's Blog that women make up slightly more than half of U.S. jobs created in the first part of the new decade the leadership issues from old decades do not seem to be going away.

    Listened to, but did not enjoy Newsweek’s Barbara Kantrowitz msnbc audio on Women in Leadership that outlined women’s role models and tips for success. Perhaps women are not promoted to leadership positions because of the lack of women as mentors (most women in this interview were mentored by men). Perhaps it's related to this sad, shortlist of tips the women interviewees provided to aspiring women leaders.

    Sample leadership lessons shared in the audio:

    1. Never cry in the office. (This was identified as Number 1!)
    2. Don’t create obstacles for yourself.
    3. Be passionate about your work and what you do.
    4. Work hard and don’t let criticism distract you.
    5. Don’t sell yourself short.

    Wonder how many male leaders got their positions by following a list of similar lessons? Wonder if the newly hired woman president at Harvard listed never crying in the office as a leadership strength on her CV?

    Recent research from the Center for High Performance Development (CHPD), on leadership qualities among male and female managerial staff had results that indicated women performed better than men on three of the main leadership quality measures (thinking, developing and achieving) and equally on the fourth (inspiring).

    Chris Parry of the CHPD stated, “ women are given fewer opportunities in a male-run organization” and that men are better at “getting exposure, being visible, communicating upwards, getting people to know” what they are doing. Women, according to Parry expect to get promoted on ability and do not display the self-confidence that men do in the workplace.

    Oh, and did I mention, “the wage gap persists: In 2005, the median weekly pay for women was $486, or 73% of that for men -- $663 (Biz Dean’s Talk)”. I could just cry, but I won’t, as I am an aspiring leader.

    Sunday, February 18, 2007

    Flickr and copyright

    Was led to some thought provoking ideas related to copyright while reading the Accidental Pedagogy blog.

    The Ecstasy of Influence: A plagiarism

    One of the things Lethem (2007) wrote about photography struck me and I quote:

    "It's worth noting, then, that early in the history of photography a series of judicial decisions could well have changed the course of that art: courts were asked whether the photographer, amateur or professional, required permission before he could capture and print an image. Was the photographer stealing from the person or building whose photograph he shot, pirating something of private and certifiable value? Those early decisions went in favor of the pirates. Just as Walt Disney could take inspiration from Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr., the Brothers Grimm, or the existence of real mice, the photographer should be free to capture an image without compensating the source. The world that meets our eye through the lens of a camera was judged to be, with minor exceptions, a sort of public commons, where a cat may look at a king."

    Am writing about this today, because even after reading what Flickr has posted on its website and completing several searches on copyright related to use of Flickr images am still not sure if I am pirating from the pirates. Because of this blogs title thought it would be fun to find and post beautiful images of portals and I found a lot of gorgeous images on Flickr. I have been saving some of them as images in a My Pictures folder on my PC and was planning to rotate the images over the course of the next few months.

    Some of the information found in my searches led me to believe that some folks on Flickr license their images through Creative Commons, but if that is the case I am not finding the information. Also, found some folks on Flickr pointing fingers at people who are using images without proper attribution.

    Right now there is a single image of a portal by a photographer that identifies himself as, astrovine. Under the image I have carefully and prominently displayed the following: Italian Portal by astovine. I am wondering, is that enough? While there are active forums discussing copyright issues on Flickr, there are not definitive answers to people's questions in the forums. You can view astovine photos and his profile on Flickr, but I can't find anything on his site or on the Flickr site that makes me sure it is okay to use this image.

    Might be nice if there was some information on the Flickr site and and on individual profiles that outlined how the photos can and can be used. The Creative Commons license would help people like me who come looking and want to use photos of portals ethically. Perhaps the information is there and I am just not finding it, or maybe all the issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property related to blogging and on the Internet were solved and I missed the announcement :-)

    Friday, February 16, 2007

    Who knew?

    Truly had no clue when I started this that there was so much to read, see, learn, and do in the blogosphere. Even my goals seem diminshed by the quantity of of information that is available on topics that of interest to me.

    I thought of a folk song I heard years ago with lyrics focused on the hard time women have in life cooking, cleaning, ironing, etc.. Many versions of the lyrics to the Housewife's Lament are all over the web, but could not find out who authored the Housewife's Lament. Here is part of the lament:

    Last night in my dreams I was stationed forever
    On a far little rock in the midst of the sea
    My one chance of life was a ceaseless endeavor
    To sweep off the waves as they swept over me
    Alas! 'Twas no dream; ahead I behold it
    I see I am helpless my fate to avert
    She lay down her broom, her apron she folded
    She lay down and died and was buried in dirt.

    While it used to be that I just thought about the irony of the last statement in terms of keeping my living space clean, now the words hit home in a new way because of the waves of technology and information seem to get bigger and bigger and the need to
    keep up-to-date seems to grow exponentially.

    Am thinking I will
    easily find 25 women bloggers writing on topics of interest to me before the year is out. May well need to beef up the numbers and revise the goal statement over the course of the next few months. On the plus side, found good resources on
    WomenGamers and enjoyed a quick read of The kids are alright: How the gamer generation is changing the world.

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Framing this Blog and Related Writing

    I had fun this first month of blogging and as a I slogged and poked around the web I learned a few things about blogging I already knew and much about blogging that I hadn't a clue!

    Because I have a purpose of finding women blogging about education technology, higher education, and leadership and in answering my question about where the women bloggers are.I decided to frame this blog and the related writings in a goal setting exercise using 5 tips found today in Enterprising Women magazine. Beller (2005) wrote:

    1. Having a vision is important to goal setting.

    2. Writing a plan to achieve goals is needed.

    3. Sharing your goals with others will keep you accountable.

    4. Letting go of the outcome and trusting yourself along the way helps.

    5. Enjoying one’s journey toward achieving goals and related successes is the best!

    ProEdPortal Blog Goals

    Vision: My vision is to learn more about a new (to me) writing medium and to connect with bloggers interested in some of the same topics that I am interested in.

    Purpose: To engage in writing activities and conversations that fuel ideas for articles, writings, musings, and that help me learn new skills.

    Goals: Shared goals to promote my own accountability

    1. Blog for one year.

    2. Create and post at least 3 blog postings per month.

    a. At least one of the postings should connect to leadership.

    3. Stay connected to set blog topics, e.g., reflecting on and posting my thoughts and opinions on technology, higher education, and leadership.

    4. Find at least 25 women bloggers who blog on similar topics and link them to ProEdPortal.

    5. Connect blogging to at least 3 professional development activities over the course of the next 12 months.

    a. Conference presentation

    b. Submit a paper to a journal

    c. Host a webinar

    6. At the end of one year reflect, summarize year’s activities in the blog, and decide whether to continue.

    Outcomes and the Journey: An Action Research Project that will unfold as the year goes by.

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Reading Danah Boyd Writings on Blogs

    A newbie and a latecomer to this whole blog thing am wanting to read and find out about other women who blog and have interests similar to mine. One of the most interesting and prolific women bloggers I am reading is Danah Boyd --apophenia. Boyd has been a blogger for a longtime and has massive archives and links out to other blogs and bloggers. Can only admire and be awe of all the blogging and article writing she does while enrolled as a Ph.D. student at Berkley!

    A few things she writes about blogging are relevant to why I decided to experiment with blogging, for example:

    1.I see blogging as way to be engaged with a community of people with like interests and can recognize the "social aspects of blogging"(Boyd, 2006).

    2. In a way feel like this is Action Research, as I walk through producing
    "semi-regular expressions" under what Boyd, calls a "digital roof".

    3. Each new post is connected to my self-assigned readings as I explore this medium. Not sure yet how they all connect. In some respects this is just freewriting and eventually I will need to reflect and respond not only to my readings, but will need to capture my thoughts about all as this blogging stuff and to figure out what it all means. Does this mean I am "blogging to the blog itself"?

    On a separate, but related topic as a parent of young adults (20-somethings), her musings and articles have helped me understand facebooking & myspacing a little better. Did not reduce all my concerns :-), but did put them in perspective. Her list of her articles, publications, presentations on topics related to this medium is well worth a bookmark.

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Just looking around,did you know there is a blog born every second?

    Through GeekyMom found a higher education site and an article titled, A lesson in video viral. Basically a fun to read story about a faculty person who created a 5-minute video clip for YouTube and forwarded it to some friends, who forwarded to friends,then a blogger posted the video and it was viewed by 806,077 people within just a few days. Soon folks are calling this video a "must-see video for anyone wanting to understand the hottest features of the Web". In Wesch’s piece, “The Machine is Us/ing Us,” The nonlinear quality of digital text is outlined in a fun, simple, innovative and highly visual manner. If you have not viewed it, you can by clicking on this link to Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us.

    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    Making my way through blog lit

    While wandering, reading, and reflecting on blogging am working to ground myself in what is known about blogs. Worked my way this evening through the PEW’s (2006) Bloggers: A portrait of the internet's new storytellers and some eye-opening statistics. Some of the blogging statistics I found of interest in the survey (n=7, 012) included

    1.Majority of bloggers are well educated, 37% of the respondents had college degrees compared with the 27% of the Americans with college degrees
    2. Well over a third, 38% of bloggers are American knowledge based professionals compared with 13% of the American knowledge based professionals in the workplace
    3.Bloggers are overwhelming young, 84% of the respondents were under 50
    4.Rather even in gender, 54% of bloggers Male and 46% are female
    5.57 million people read blogs and 12 million keep them
    6.Older bloggers are a minority, only 16% of respondents over 50 blog
    7.51% of bloggers have less than a year’s experience

    Could the lack of women bloggers on topics such as; education technology, higher education, and leadership be linked to numbers of women with college degrees and considered knowledge based professional in the workplace? Maybe there just are not that many of us to begin with, let alone enough of us in numbers to make a dent on the Technorati’s biggest blogs in the blogosphere.